Even after you make the decision to create a comprehensive estate plan to take care of your assets and your heirs, that’s only the beginning of your planning. Before you can take another step, you need to find the right Charlotte estate planning attorney to help you create that strategy.
The importance of estate planning
Creating an estate plan is an important step in life and one that can have a lasting, positive impact on your financial and legacy goals, protect you during your lifetime, and secure your family’s future when you’re gone. There are still choices to make, but the decision to get started is always the most important. Of course, the second-most important decision involves your choice of an estate lawyer. And when it comes to picking the right estate lawyer, there are a few things to consider.
Why you need a Charlotte estate planning attorney
You might assume that you can get your estate planning completed without the help of an attorney. After all, you’ve no doubt seen the many free and low-cost wills and trust forms available online. For a variety of reasons, your best option is to avoid those altogether. People commonly fill those forms out incorrectly, which leaves them with invalid wills and trusts or ones that don’t work as intended. And even if they are filled out properly, do-it-yourself forms cannot provide the level of customized attention that your legacy planning needs — and usually your family discovers the problems after it’s too late for you to fix them. So save yourself the heartache and talk to an experienced attorney instead.
What can our Charlotte estate planning attorney do?
An experienced and competent Charlotte estate planning attorney can help you with your most pressing estate planning needs. He or she can assist with will preparation and the development of any trusts you might need. They can work with you to ensure that you avoid or reduce your estate tax liability. They can also help with the management of any trusts that you create and with the probate administration of a loved one’s estate. Our estate plans can enable you to avoid the probate process, using important tools like beneficiary and transfer-on-death designations, joint tenancy, and trusts. We can also make sure that you have a plan in place to deal with potential incapacity in the future.
Criteria to use in selecting an attorney
Since different estate attorneys may have different focuses, it’s important to have some idea about what you want your estate plan to include. After all, there is no point in approaching an attorney who rarely handles trust administration if that’s your major concern – just as you wouldn’t want an attorney who primarily handles wills if you’re interested in a comprehensive estate plan that includes trusts or more complex tools and strategies. In other words, make sure that the lawyer you select has broad experience with the type of plan you’re considering.
Be sure to ask questions of our Charlotte estate planning attorney
There are certain things that you should find out before you decide to hire any attorney. You should ask how the work gets done – whether the attorney is actively participating in the work that his or her staff performs, or whether the entire project is just assigned to those staff members. Ask about the cost of any services and what is included. Will update services be offered? Will the attorney assist you in tasks like funding your trust?
Ask questions about things like these:
- How long will you have to wait to get a phone call returned?
- How does your billing work?
- Will you be here for my heirs when I die?
- If there are challenges to the validity of the Last Will and Testament, will you stand behind your work?
- What services are included in my fee?
If you decide not to use an attorney, let him or her know. It’s not only the courteous thing to do but can also save you from receiving follow-up calls in the future.
With the right approach and commitment to research, you can find an estate lawyer who will meet your unique needs. At the Potter Law Firm, we’re always excited to meet with people to help them determine whether we can help them to achieve their estate planning goals. If you’re currently looking for the ideal estate planning attorney to help you develop your estate plan and legacy strategy, we’d love to hear from you.
Join us for a FREE seminar today! If you have questions regarding trusts or any other estate planning matters, please contact the experienced attorneys at The Potter Law Firm for a consultation. You can contact us either online or by calling us at (704) 944-3245 (Charlotte, NC, and Huntersville, NC) or for individuals in Kentucky, (606) 324-5516 (Ashland) or (859) 372-6655 (Florence). We are here to help!